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Switching to OS X for web development ?

#51
The specs sound good; I am still running a 2012 MacBook with i5 processor, upgraded RAM (8 GB) and upgraded SSD (500 GB) and it's fine. The things that are starting to break down are all mechanical (the CD drive is wonky, some keys stick, the trackpad is acting strange...). I'm not a programmer, though, and have never had a Mac Mini, so others might be able to help you better there.
Edited: 2017-03-26, 9:43 am
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#52
Hey ファブリス, I am quite familiar with this Mac mini (late 2012 quad-core) and I have worked with scores of them. I also use a MacBook Pro (late 2013) with the exact same specs (processor, memory, and solid state drive) as my primary machine.

My usage sounds similar to yours, and I am satisfied with the overall performance. It should probably be good for the next 2 or 3 years. Apple currently sells a lot of Macs with slower processors or hard disk drives than would be slower than this configuration.

The fan will generally not be noticable unless one (or more) of the CPU cores is at max utilization for an extended period of time (like re-encoding digital video, or a runaway system process). I don't think you should need to worry about cleaning out dust for several years, unless you are in an extra-dusty environment.

The primary problem I've seen is that some (less than ⅒) seem to have a hardware issue that can cause them to freeze up, likely related to the internal Serial ATA controller. (On machines with this problem, running the system from an external volume prevents the problem from recurring.) If you get a Mac mini and it makes it through 72 hours without problems, it probably won't be affected.

Note that the MacBook Pro (2016) introduced really fast PCIe/NVMe SSD so the next iMac and Mac mini models may have much faster disk I/O than you would get from an SSD attached to the SATA-III bus in the Mac mini (late 2012). You would also miss out on Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports.
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#53
Yes Mac Mini with TB 3 would be ideal as external GPU enclosure could become more affordable in 1-2 years. So a Mac Mini with updated specs would be perfect. But at this point there is no indication at all if they are coming. So I'm thinking.. worst case I resell it say 300 EUR quick , and I recoup half of it to buy a new mac mini. Not a huge deal. That's why I don't want to spend more for the quad core i7 (all those I've seen run into the 800 + EUR range).
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#54
@fkb9g

Do you know by any chance what kind of external enclosure I could use to hook up additional SSDs with the 2012 mini?

Plan is to grab 2 SSD's from this PC, and then use an enclosure, with daisy chaining for the LED CInema screen which I currently use on PC. I need daisy chain as I've read the displayport plugs in the TB port.


PS

Or... I could use this dual hard drive kit from iFixit ?

Do you know in which order I should proceed if i wnated to add an ssd from my pc in it? ( likely an Intel 330 180 Gb or a Samsung 830 240 Gb ) Should i format them both to NTFS to avoid any FusionDrive issues? And then clean install Sierra with a USB key?
Edited: 2017-03-26, 3:39 pm
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#55
(2017-03-26, 2:57 pm)ファブリス Wrote: Do you know by any chance what kind of external enclosure I could use to hook up additional SSDs with the 2012 mini?

Just about any enclosure with FireWire 800, Thunderbolt 2, or USB 3.0 (type A connector) should work. (Note that FireWire can be daisy chained and may be cheaper than Thunderbolt 2.)

(2017-03-26, 2:57 pm)ファブリス Wrote: Plan is to grab 2 SSD's from this PC, and then use an enclosure, with daisy chaining for the LED Cinema screen which I currently use on PC.  I need daisy chain as I've read the displayport plugs in the TB port.

Yes, the Thunderbolt 2 port is also the Mini DisplayPort. You could also connect a monitor using the HDMI port.

(2017-03-26, 2:57 pm)ファブリス Wrote: Or... I could use this dual hard drive kit from iFixit ?

Yes, you could use that kit to add a second internal SATA drive to a regular Mac mini. (The Mac mini Server shipped with dual 1TB disks.) I don't think it matters which of the two SATA connectors your boot volume is connected to.

Ideally, the boot volume would be an internal SSD connected to the internal SATA (doesn't matter which port). If you don't mind desk clutter, its probably cheaper and less work to add additional drives using external enclosures.

(2017-03-26, 2:57 pm)ファブリス Wrote: Do you know in which order I should proceed if i wanted to add an ssd from my pc in it? ( likely an Intel 330 180 Gb  or a Samsung 830 240  Gb )  Should i format them both to NTFS to avoid any FusionDrive  issues? And then clean install Sierra with a USB key?

You can reformat the desired boot disk to HFS+ by opening Disk Utility at the start of the macOS installation process. A Mac will show each attached drive as a separate volume (or volumes) unless you explicitly combine them into a Fusion Drive volume using diskutil on the command line.

I think macOS can read NTFS volumes, but writes are not enabled by default.
Edited: 2017-03-26, 4:32 pm
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#56
Most of this discussion is above my head, but just a quick note, NTFS writing can be enabled with an app (Paragon NTFS for Mac). Not free but well worth the license cost if you frequently work cross platform, as I do.
Edited: 2017-03-26, 5:26 pm
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#57
Ahh yes I remember something about a tool to read/write NTFS.

Thing is, I already have 2 external USB HDD 's for backups. So it's going to be clunky on the desktop. I think I'll want to mount a 2nd SSD inside as long as there are no drawbacks? It doens't seem too cimplicated from iFixit page,. only downside seems to be the cost of the kit.

My plan is to have 2 drives so when i backup code the archives go to a different drive. In case one dies.

If I go with the purchase soon , it comes with a 500 GB SSD. I don't trust it for my boot drive , as I don't know if it has errors on it. But I can trust the ones I have on my PC as they have been running for a while. So I would use a Intel or Samsung SSD to install Sierra on it, and put the 500 GB SSD as second drive for media and backups.

Regarding NTFS Hmm. I could format the 500 GB as NTFS so if I dual boot WIn 7 I could access all the media and potentially install games there. But then indeed you need the tool that writes to NTFS. Googled up briefly.. do you think the open source NTFS drivers are safe? Could try to install that one.

I don't know if it's worth installing windows 7 at all... the only purpose would be some light gaming.. might not worth it at all especially that the HD 4000 will probably choke on the 1440p screen anyway.
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#58
I pulled the plug. Late 2012 Mac Mini i5 with 16 GB ram and 500 GB SSD. I hope the 1440p monitor won't hurt performance at least in desktop mode.

Seller got me confused when he warned me about upper / lower bay.

On OWC site they explain how to check if lower / upper bay is in use, and use the appropriate klt:
https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMM11D2/

On iFixit, their kit is for "upper bay" but they claim the cable can be bent:
https://meta.ifixit.com/Answers/View/684...2+position

Anyone have a recommendation for the better kti to use?

Are there any downsides at all? From what I gather the 2011+ Mac minis have two SATA III cables.
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#59
Got the Mac Mini, still have to set it up.

Been out of the OS X loop for 5 years, can you recommend good software for OS X ? Anything really.

Here is my checklist so far:

TERMINAL
- built in one is great I'm not sure I need anything else? (and I don't vi in terminal)

TEXT EDITOR
- MacVim
- SublimeText 3

FTP
- FileZilla works plenty enough (free)

CREANTING MOCKUPS / IMAGE EDITING
- Figma (online, free, probably slow and clunky on Mac Mini)
- PixelMator (not pricey, but is it an alternative to Sketch for pixel-precise web design?)
- Photoshop or Sketch

NETWORK
- Little Snitch (30 €) OR would the cheaper RadioSilence (9 USD) be sufficient?

GAMES
- Boxer (DOSBox front end, damn hasn't been updated since 2013?)

BACKUPS
- DirSyncPro
- I like to backup to NTFS external drives because I'm not locked in Apple's restore system whatever that is. Typically I'll make archives for my projects, so the archive itself maintains all the file permissions. And for other media like music and videos it doesn't seem to matter much what the OS X file flags are.
- That said would you recommend another approach?
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#60
For terminal stuff, install homebrew. Also get BASH tab autocomplete set up, this can be done through homebrew (google "osx bash autocomplete" or the like).

Depending on your needs as well, you might try installing docker for Mac + virtualbox. This lets you quickly setup various server software (ex: mysql, redis, etc.) if you want to mess around with or test something.

For backups, it kind of comes down to whether you want to deal with stuff locally or not and how much you want to spend. I think it was someone here (in this thread?) that mentioned Amazon Glacier. I was surprised at how cheap their rates are and I'd imagine up to a point it probably beats out Dropbox.
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#61
Thank you vix. I don't remember using homebrew back in 2012. Did Apple remove some of the preinstalled CLI tools? I remember php was already installed. But I read something about enabling dev tools via XCode?

I guess I'll find out, still figuring out whether I want to install a 2nd SSD drive in lower bay for Windows 7... so at least I have a Bootcamp option, AND it's on a separate drive. I have 3 SSDs in this PC and if I end up selling it I think 3 SSDs adds too much value that people don't really care about (vs. CPU / GPU / memory). So may as well salvage at least one SSD, and maybe even move it to a new Mac Mini next year (apparently the Mac Mini is still in Apple's lineup).

I'm curious about Swift now.
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#62
The OSX builtin backup stuff is Time Machine and it's pretty good as a 'just works' solution. The backup format is (it appears) just an HFS+ disk and lots of use of hardlinks to save disk space, so it should be possible to restore it on any OS that can read the Mac disk format (you don't get the pretty UI front end of course).

Depends whether your preferred backup strategy is "just my data" or "whole disk so I don't have to reconfigure, reinstall lots of apps, etc". I've always been a whole-disk person...
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#63
Try QualityMacs on eBay if you're interested in a good, discounted iMac. They are very good and have their phone number readily available.

They actually messed up my order 3 times. This sounds bad, but they felt so bad about it that they sent me a fully maxed out iMac for the same price as the one I originally wanted, plus the magic trackpad2, and Magic Mouse 2 both. I can't recommend them enough. Just pray they mess up your order Wink lol
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#64
@theadamie

Rocking a Mac Mini Late 2012 right now (with a 500 GB SSD and 16GB RAM). Bought it on eBay.

The new announcements about "pro" iMacs is exciting, how they will be priced not so much Smile

I'm stunned just how compact the mini is. Got a full blown computer in a tiny box. Can't wait to sell my PC.

Personally I am curious about what the next Mini will look like. If it has TB3, you could potentially upgrade with an external GPU. Much more attractive to me than the iMac format. Besides I have a LED Cinema.

Gonna have fun compiling Provenance emulator for the AppleTV. I am debating learning Swift and / or iOS development.
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#65
(2017-04-05, 7:30 am)ファブリス Wrote: Thank you vix. I don't remember using homebrew back in 2012. Did Apple remove some of the preinstalled CLI tools? I remember php was already installed. But I read something about enabling dev tools via XCode?

You can run xcode-select to install command line tools needed for development (clang, git, etc). I think this command works even if Xcode.app is not installed.

macOS has a lot of tools included, although generally not the latest version (for example, php 5.6.30, python 2.7.10, git 2.11.0). If you need to add stuff that's hard to get running (for example, ImageMagick has a ton of dependencies), use Homebrew. If you only need to add a few things, just install under /usr/local and add /usr/local/bin to your path.

Paid apps: 1Password (password manager), Arq (backup to Amazon Web Services), Little Snitch (network connection alerts), DaisyDisk (visual disk usage).

Free apps: xACT (batch convert audio files), SQLiteStudio (graphical sqlite3 client), Transmission (torrent client), MacDown (markdown editor with live preview), Notational Velocity (searchable notes database), Self Control (add temporary firewall rules).

Fonts: Hanazo (HanaMinA and HanaMinB) and Adobe Source Han Serif are both free and have a lot of kanji. FontBBox Viewer is great for browsing the glyphs in a specific font. UnicodeChecker can look up Unicode attributes for a specific character and show you which installed fonts include it. Glyphs is a very good font editor (paid app).

Text editor: one or more of Sublime Text 2, Textmate 2, MacVim, BBEdit.

FTP/SFTP: just use the command line tools, or try ForkLift or Cyberduck (quack quack).
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#66
Thanks fkb9g! Any suggestions for monitoring CPU & network activity? I used menumeters on the MBP but it appears to no longer work under Sierra. There is a widget for Notification Centre called MONIT, but I'm hoping to find something that can be on screen in the menu bar.

edit: it's menumeters
Edited: 2017-04-07, 5:28 pm
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#67
(2017-04-07, 1:48 pm)ファブリス Wrote: Any suggestions for monitoring CPU & network activity?

Little Snitch shows up/down traffic rates in the menu bar.

I use Activity Monitor when I need to check CPU usage; I don't know a tool that displays it in the menu bar.
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#68
(2017-04-07, 1:48 pm)ファブリス Wrote: Thanks fkb9g! Any suggestions for monitoring CPU & network activity? I used menumeters on the MBP but it appears to no longer work under Sierra. There is a widget for Notification Centre called MONIT, but I'm hoping to find something that can be on screen in the menu bar.

edit: it's menumeters

iStats Menus 4 seems to be what you're looking for. It monitors CPU, network, RAM, disk usage, temperature, fan speed and more. You can customize what icons appear in the menu bar as well.

https://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/
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#69
Sah-weet... found a port of MenuMeters fixed for 10.11+.

As an aside, I installed a second SSD in the Mac mini. It was scary!! The iFixit guide didn't prepare me for how small those connectors are. Hurt my eyes trying to see the pins on those connectors. This is definitely no "pc building" material. Gives an appreciation for why small is not cheap. Thankfully after three hours of super careful manipulation it booted without issues.

@pm215 (re: backups)

My preferred approach is to backup just my data. I put everything in a few select folders like Music, Backup (configs), Documents, etc. And just sync those to external drives.

However it takes a ton of time to install, update, and configure the OS with all the essential settings. On Windows, this is particularly painful so I don't want to do it twice. So for Windows I used the "whole disk" approach, and made a backup with NortonGhost utility on a USB drive. However I made a 40 GB partition purposely for that, which fits Windows plus a few big apps like Photoshop.

But in reality, I never needed that backup.

So my solution is somewhere in between, as I have no use for continuous full-disk backups:

1- I ideally I'd want to make a full backup now or very soon, before I start installing big apps. So in theory even though the drive and single partition is 500 GB, I would have a small backup as currently only 14 GB is in use.

2- And then going forward I'll continue backing up my data only, with a simple "sync folders" solution like DirSyncPro.

What software can I use for 1 ?

Come to think of it unlike my Windows solution, if I restore such a backup it would erase everything else on the drive (single, large partition).. but that's OK I suppose. I have all my data backed up.
Edited: 2017-04-13, 10:10 am
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#70
(2017-04-13, 10:08 am)ファブリス Wrote: Sah-weet... found a port of MenuMeters fixed for 10.11+.

1- I ideally I'd want to make a full backup now or very soon, before I start installing big apps. So in theory even though the drive and single partition is 500 GB, I would have a small backup  as currently only 14 GB is in use.

What software can I use for 1 ?

Menu meters is a nice little program.  Thanks for reminding me to install it on my computer.

What's wrong with time machine for full backups?  It's already installed with the OS, backs up everything on your drive and then only backs up what changes.  It's also nice in the unlikely event that you accidentally change or erase something or a file gets corrupted as it keeps old and deleted files as long as there is space on the drive.  You can simply use a separate drive, or there are hacks to enable a NAS as a time machine over a network.
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#71
I just don't see the use for it, and it will backup a ton of changes I simply don't need. For example the mysql databases, any apps I install (I can just backup the installers), etc.

So beyond the initial time consuming setting up of a clean slate OS, it's basically going to use resources for no reason.

And also, I don't care about backing up my OS. I want to backup my data Smile That data can move to different OS. Pictures, music, code, etc. The OS backup is really just in the very rare cases that a drive fails.
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#72
You're right, there's not much use for it.  But with drives as cheap as they are these days, what is the use of picking and choosing what gets backed up?  Drive space isn't the valuable resource, time is more valuable.  

Just plug in a cheap 3TB drive, set it as your time machine back-up and you're done.  You don't ever have to think of it again unless you loose some data and then you're sure you have it because it's all backed up.
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#73
Any recommendations for a NTFS write solution? Any free option?
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#74
I don't know of a free option (there may be one), but Paragon NTFS is reasonably priced and has always worked great for me.
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#75
I remember now the one I used on my iMac in 2010-2012 was Tuxera NTFS-3G. They have a paid version, and there was a free presumably slower version.

http://www.tuxera.com/community/open-source-ntfs-3g/

Now to find a version for Sierra. I don't think 20+ USD for a simple NTFS driver is reasonable but that's just me. I'd rather spend my money on small useful apps in the App Store.

PS: I read something about Apple who had an unsupported NTFS driver, have to dig into that.

PPS: looks like they just don't give a pre built version (since 2012) to push the paid one, but it's possible to build it. I'm not versed enough in the Sierra C compiling so hopefully there is a tut somewhere to build it.
Edited: 2017-04-15, 4:01 pm
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